WO2004043560A2 - Multiple action module toy - Google Patents

Multiple action module toy Download PDF

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Publication number
WO2004043560A2
WO2004043560A2 PCT/US2003/034561 US0334561W WO2004043560A2 WO 2004043560 A2 WO2004043560 A2 WO 2004043560A2 US 0334561 W US0334561 W US 0334561W WO 2004043560 A2 WO2004043560 A2 WO 2004043560A2
Authority
WO
WIPO (PCT)
Prior art keywords
module
base unit
sound
plurality
input
Prior art date
Application number
PCT/US2003/034561
Other languages
French (fr)
Other versions
WO2004043560A3 (en
Inventor
Darin Barri
Robert Grzesek
Timothy R. Lightbody
Jorge Sanchez
Jose Arellano
Original Assignee
Mattel, Inc.
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date
Priority to US42501702P priority Critical
Priority to US60/425,017 priority
Application filed by Mattel, Inc. filed Critical Mattel, Inc.
Publication of WO2004043560A2 publication Critical patent/WO2004043560A2/en
Publication of WO2004043560A3 publication Critical patent/WO2004043560A3/en

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Classifications

    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63HTOYS, e.g. TOPS, DOLLS, HOOPS, BUILDING BLOCKS
    • A63H33/00Other toys
    • A63H33/26Magnetic or electric toys

Abstract

A module toy (10) includes a base unit (11) and a plurality of modules (22, 23, 24, 25, 40) each connectable to the base unit (11). The modules (22, 23, 24, 25, 40) each operate under base unit (11) control and include a light module (22), sound module (23), a pushbutton module (24), a pull pin module (25) and a motor module (40) all operative under control of the base unit (11).

Description

MULTIPLE ACTION MODULE TOY

Cross-Reference to Related Patent Application

[0001 ] This application is related to and claims priority of a provisional application serial number 60/425,017 filed November 7, 2002 on behalf of the Applicants of this application.

Field of the Invention

[0002] This invention relates generally to handheld toys and particularly to those providing a plurality of sound and other activities.

Background of the Invention

[0003] With the advent with economically manufactured microprocessors, the toy art has been greatly enhanced by small handheld toys capable of proving a variety of sounds as well as light and movement activities. Thus, low-cost microprocessor circuits and audio circuits together with low-cost memory apparatus for storing significant amounts of sound and speech have allowed practitioner's in the art to provide a variety of small battery powered handheld toys which are capable of providing games which include sound effects and in some instances displayed images. Still other handheld devices are suitable for use in combination with well known and readily available personal computers or the like.

[0004] Despite the substantial development of handheld battery powered toys in the art, there remains nonetheless a continuing need in the art for ever more improved, interesting, amusing and entertaining handheld toys. Summary of the Invention

[0005] Accordingly, it is a general object of the present invention to provide an improved handheld battery powered toy. It is a more particular object of the present invention to provide an improved handheld battery powered toy which includes a plurality of interconnecting and interactive modules to enhance toy play.

[0006] In accordance with the present invention there is provided a multiple action module toy having a base unit within which a plurality of selectable sound segments have been stored. In addition, the base unit includes means for selecting a particular one of the plurality of sounds for output from a speaker or other transducer within the device. Additionally, the base unit includes a plurality of input controls which select from among a plurality of game play modes together with a personal computer interface port suitable for coupling the base unit to a personal computer. The multiple action module toy of the present invention further includes an input port and an output port each having plural connecting line capabilities. A plurality of interactive modules including a light module, a sound module, a push button module and a pull pin module are interchangeably secured to the base unit by plug-in connectors cooperating with the input connector of the base unit. A motor module having a cooperating connector for coupling to the output port of the base unit includes a motor driven movable element which responds to control signals from the base unit. The base unit is thereby configurable into a plurality of operative modes by combination of selected input and output modules. The base unit is also programmable to a further extent by downloading from a personal computer via the personal computer interface port. Brief Description of the Drawings

[0007] The features of the present invention which are believed to be novel are set forth in the various figures and drawings accompanying this description in the several figures of which like reference numerals identify like elements and in which:

[0008] Figure 1 sets forth a pictorial view of a multiple action module toy constructed in accordance with the present invention;

[0009] Figure 2 sets forth a schematic circuit diagram of a portion of the operative circuit within the base unit of the present invention toy;

[0010] Figure 3 sets forth a further circuit diagram of additional portions of the base unit;

[0011] Figure 4 sets forth circuit diagrams of the input and output modules of the present invention multiple action module toy;

[0012] Figure 5 sets forth a pictorial view of the present invention multiple action module toy together with an illustrative personal computer illustrating the download function of the toy;

[0013] Figure 6 sets forth the interactive display generated by the download operation of the present invention toy upon the display of the cooperating computer. Description of the Preferred Embodiments

[0014] Figure 1 sets forth a pictorial view of a multiple action module toy constructed in accordance with the present invention and generally referenced by numeral 10. Toy 10 includes a base unit 11 having an internal operative circuit set forth below in Figures 2, 3 and 4 which cooperates with an input connector port 20 and an output connector port 21. Base unit 11 further includes a housing 12 supporting the circuit of Figures 2 through 4 and having a rotatable sound selector dial 13. Housing 12 further supports a light emitting diode 16 and a personal computer interface port 18. A plurality of control input buttons 14, 15 and 16 are also supported upon housing 12 and provide control and operational input to the operative circuitry within base unit 11.

[0015] In accordance with the present invention, toy 10 further includes a plurality of interchangeable plug-in trigger modules 22, 23, 24 and 25 each of which is configured to connect to input connector port 20. In the preferred fabrication of the present invention, input connector port 20 comprises a plug-in type connector in which mechanical and electrical connections are simultaneously made during plug-in. By way of example, toy 10 is shown in Figure 1 having a light trigger module 22, a sound trigger module 23, a pushbutton trigger 24 and a pull pin trigger module 25. However, it will be apparent to those skilled in the art that other types of trigger input modules may be utilized without departing from the spirit and scope of the present invention.

[0016] Light module 22 provides a trigger signal input to base unit 11 each time the light impinging module 22 changes in accordance with the desired mode of operation. Similarly, sound module 23 provides a trigger input to base unit 11 each time a predetermined level of sound information is detected by microphone 31 and communicated to module 23 via cable 30. Pushbutton module 24 includes a trigger input mechanism responsive to pressing pushbutton module 24. Finally, pull pin module 25 includes a removable pin device 35 which, when removed in the manner shown in dash-line representation by pulling outwardly as indicated by arrow 36, causes pull pin module 25 to apply a trigger signal to input connector 20.

[0017] To further enhance the flexibility of toy 10, an extension cord 26 having a pair of cooperating connectors 27 and 28 for plugging into connector 20 and a selected one of the trigger modules provides increased flexibility of separation between the trigger module and base unit 11.

[0018] Motor module 40 provides an illustration of an output module constructed in accordance with the present invention. Module 40 includes a movable arm 22 which, in response to the action of an internal motor (seen in Figure 4) provides movement of arm 42 in the manner indicated by arrow 43. The speed of arm movement in response to an output signal at connector 21 is variable somewhat in response to manipulation of speed control 41.

[0019] In operation, with base unit 11 having a plurality of stored audible sounds and a sound circuit (set forth below) operative in response to sound selector dial 13, the mode of operation for base unit 11 is selected by manipulation of buttons 14, 15 and 16. Thereafter, a desired trigger module such as light module 22 is connected to input connection port 20 by plug-in attachment. It will be apparent that the selection of light module 22 for illustration is intended to be representative of additional trigger modules such as modules 23, 24 and 25. Thus, with light module 22 plugged into input connector port 20, and a selected sound having been chosen by rotation of sound selector dial 13, the detection of light changes at module 22 causes base unit 11 to produce the selected sound. In accordance with the setting of mode by buttons 14 through 16, the selected sound in response to triggering light at module 22 may be played a single time, a plurality of times with intermittent delays, or continuously on a repeated basis for a predetermined time. Thus, toy 10 may be used as a prank playing device by maintaining toy 10 at a position in which an unsuspecting object of the prank moves past light module 22 causing it to trigger and causing base unit 11 to produce prank sounds.

[0020] Similarly, the substitution of sound module 23 for light module 22 and the selection of the desired sound using sound selector 13 provides a similar type of prank or "booby trap" operation for toy 10. In this case, the object of the prank in moving into proximity with toy 10 produces sound which is detected by microphone 31 causing module 23 to trigger the sound output to base unit 11.

[0021] By way of further illustration, the substitution of pushbutton module 24 for sound module 23 produces a selected sound from output from base unit 11 each time the pushbutton of module 24 is touched.

[0022] Finally, by way of further illustration, the substitution of pull pin module 25 for pushbutton module 24 at input connector port 20 facilitates pranks such as tying a string or trip cord to pin 35 at a desired location for prank activity. In such case for example, the object of the prank may trigger the operation of base unit 11 as the object touches or pulls the trip cord with drawing pin 35 and causing activation of module 25.

[0023] In addition to the sound output resulting from a trigger input to base unit 11, additional activity enhancing the sound activity may be provided under triggered conditions by the use of an output module such as motor module 40. In such case, the triggering of base unit 11 produces the selected sound and simultaneously activates the motion of arm 42 of motor module 40. Arm 42 provides movement of a cooperating device as desired. For example, a puppet or other figure may be suspended from a cord (not shown) which dangles the figure under movement in response to activation of motor module 40. [0024] It will be apparent to those skilled in the art that a virtually endless variety of input module variations as well as output module variations may be considered without departing from the spirit and scope of the present invention.

[0025] Figure 2 sets forth a circuit diagram of a portion of the active circuitry within base unit 11. It will be apparent to those skilled in the art from the descriptions which follow that the circuit shown for base unit 11 set forth in Figures 2 and 3 may be fabricated utilizing conventional microprocessor and conventional sound integrated circuit technology. The important aspect with respect to the present invention is the ability of the base unit circuit shown in Figures 2 and 3 collectively to respond to the various trigger inputs described above and produce corresponding sound and other output conditions when a trigger event is received. Thus, a variety of similar integrated circuit and integrated sound circuit may be utilized in achieving the operation of the present invention multiple action module toy without departing from the spirit and scope of the present invention.

[0026] More specifically, Figure 2 sets forth a microprocessor and sound integrated circuit 50 which, in the example of Figure 2, utilizes a device number SPC121A-1 provides the operative processor and a portion of the sound capability of the present invention toy. Processor and sound circuit 50 utilizes a power supply 52 having a plurality of conventional batteries and a voltage regulating diode to produce operative power. A reference frequency crystal 51 is operatively coupled to the reference inputs of integrated circuit 50. For purposes of convenience and clarity, each input connection to processor and sound integrated circuit 50 is represented by an arrowhead pointing inwardly toward the body of integrated circuit 50. Conversely, each output connection is indicated by an arrowhead pointing outwardly from the body of integrated circuit 50. Additional direct circuit connections are shown as such and retain their general device labels for clarity. For example, connection 53 having a reference "AUDI" in accordance with conventional device terminal designation comprises the audio signal output of integrated circuit 50. hi a similar fashion, each of the connecting terminals of integrated circuit 50 retains its general device indication. Additionally, each connection to each terminal having an input or output oriented arrow includes a designation of the source or destination for that terminal connection.

[0027] The circuit of Figure 2 further includes a voice recording and storage integrated circuit 60 having a general device number ISD2532. Once again, as set forth integrated circuit 50, the conventional terminal designations for integrated circuit 60 have been retained for additional information. In further correspondence to the above described format use for integrated circuit 50, direct connections to circuit elements are shown as such while connections bearing arrowheads oriented inwardly or toward the body of integrated circuit 60 designate signal inputs while arrows oriented or pointed outwardly from integrated circuit 60 indicate outputs therefrom.

[0028] In accordance with conventional fabrication techniques, voice recording and storage circuit 60 comprises a conventional integrated circuit having the capability for recording and storing sound information. A pair of output terminals 61 couple integrated circuit 60 to a conventional speaker 62. An input terminal 69 is coupled to output terminal 53 of integrated circuit 50 to provide the transfer of audio information therebetween. In addition, a microphone input 75 is provided for recording sound into integrated circuit 60 for storage.

[0029] A further integrated circuit 70 comprises a conventional shift register circuit which is set forth in accordance with the above described format for connection designation used in integrated circuits 50 and 60. Integrated circuit 70 utilizes a conventional integrated circuit having a general device number SN74HC164 and is operatively coupled to integrated circuits 50 and 60 to provide maintenance of stored locations within the voice recording and storage apparatus of integrated circuit 60 for each audible sound or sound sequence therein.

[0030] Input switches 14, 15 and 16 described above are shown with appropriate connections to integrated circuit 50. In addition, input connector 20 having a plurality of connecting lines and operative in the manner described above in Figure 1 is shown together with its designated connections to the remainder of base unit 11 operative circuit. Also shown, is output connector 21 and its appropriate connection designations for integrated circuits 50 and 60 as well as the operative circuitry set forth below in Figure 3. Figure 2 also shows personal computer input port 18 and its connections designation. The operation of personal computer download to base unit 11 is described below. However, suffice it to note here that connection to port 18 from a conventional personal computer allows a plurality of sounds or sound combinations to be downloaded from the computer for storage within integrated circuit 60.

[0031] Figure 3 sets forth the remainder of operative circuitry in base unit

11 and taken in combination with the circuitry shown in Figure 2 completes the operative circuit. Once again, in Figure 3, the connection designations have been retained for each operative connection.

[0032] A light emitting diode control circuit 63 operative to control LED

16 (seen in Figure 1) includes a conventional PNP driver transistor coupled to a light emitting diode 16. Thus, the application of a negative going signal at the base of the PNP transistor of control 63 energizes light emitting diodes 16. [0033] A power switch circuit 64 includes a PNP transistor operatively coupled to a peripheral signal input at its base. The collector of the PNP transistor provides a switched power output which is filtered by a filter capacitor.

[0034] A reset circuit 65 is coupled to operating supply voltage and includes an NPN transistor having a recess output and filter capacitor coupled to its collector and a reset signal input coupled to its base. When activated, circuit 65 allows a reset signal to be applied to the reset input for integrated circuits 50 and 60 (seen in Figure 2).

[0035] A motor controller circuit 66 provides operative power for motor

81 (seen in Figure 4) operative within motor module 40 (seen in Figure 1). Motor controller 66 includes an NPN input transistor stage coupled to a PNP power regulator transistor which in turn is operatively coupled to the power supplied to motor 81. The function of controller 66 is to provide a constant operative power voltage for motor 81 despite battery voltage level fluctuations. Thus, controller is in essence a voltage regulator.

[0036] A sound interface circuit 67 provides interfacing between the analog input signal source utilized in the circuit set forth above in Figure 2 and the microphone shown in Figure 1.

[0037] An analog download interface 68 include a pair of NPN transistors operatively coupled between an analog sound input connection and a serial data input connection suitable for storage within a digital memory. Circuit 68 functions to convert analog input signals to a form of digitized information which may be readily stored.

[0038] Thus, the operative circuit set forth above in Figures 2 and 3 taken together provides the internal circuitry within base unit 11 (seen in Figure 1). [0039] Figure 4 sets forth circuit diagrams of trigger modules 22, 23, 24 and 25 together with a circuit diagram of output module 40 and extension cord 26. It will be recalled from the descriptions set forth above in conjunction with Figure 1 that modules 22 through 25 provide interchangeable trigger circuit inputs for operation of base unit 11. It will be further recalled that extension cord 26 facilitates flexibility in positioning a selected trigger module with respect to the base unit. It will also be recalled from the descriptions in conjunction with Figure 1 that motor module 40 provides an illustration of an output module operative in combination with base unit 11 in response to a trigger input.

[0040] More specifically, light module 22 includes a connector 90 which cooperates with input connector 20 of base unit 11 (seen in Figure 1) to provide complete electrical connection thereto. Light module 22 responds to changes in ambient light to produce a trigger signal which is applied to trigger connection line 93 for communication to the operative circuit within base unit 11 (seen in Figures 2 and 3). Light module 22 is in effect a light sensor having a light responsive CDS cell 91 connected to the base of an NPN transistor 92. In response to ambient light, cell 91 produces sufficient base voltage to forward bias transistor 92 causing conduction therethrough and producing a trigger signal at the collector at the transistor. This trigger signal is coupled to trigger line 93 of connector 90. In this manner, light module 22 applies a trigger signal to the base unit in response to changes of light detected by cell 91.

[0041] Sound module 23 includes a connector 95 which is compatible with input connector 20 of base unit 11 (seen in Figure 1). As described above, sound module 23 includes a microphone 31. Audio signals detected by microphone 31 are operatively coupled to an NPN transistor 96 producing an amplified signal which is further coupled to additional transistor stages 97 and 98. The fully amplified audio signal detected by microphone 31 is converted by the stage gains of transistors 96 through 98 to a trigger signal which is coupled to trigger line 99 of connector 95. Thus, in response to audible sound detected by microphone 31, a trigger signal is applied to trigger line 99 of connector 95 which in turn is coupled by connector 20 (seen in Figure 1) to provide a trigger signal input for base unit 11.

[0042] Pushbutton module 94 includes a connector 100 which is compatible with input connector 20 of base unit 11 (seen in Figure 1). Connector 100 includes a trigger line 102 coupled to a pushbutton switch 101. Thus, each time switch 101 is actuated by the user, a trigger signal is coupled to trigger line 102 which in turn is applied to base unit 11 in the manner described above in Figure 1.

[0043] Pull pin module 25 includes a connector 105 which is compatible with input connector 20 of base unit 11 (seen in Figure 1). Connector 105 includes a trigger line 107 which is coupled to a switch 106. Switch 106 is maintained in its open position by the presence of pin 35 (seen in Figure 1) of module 25. When pin 35 is removed however, switch 106 closes and a trigger signal is applied to trigger line 107. This trigger signal is coupled through connector 20 to base unit 11 in the manner described above.

[0044] An extension cord 26 includes a pair of connectors 27 and 28 joined by a multi-line cable 29. Connector 27 is compatible with input connector 20 of base unit 11 (seen in Figure 1) while connector 28 is compatible with connectors 90, 95, 100 and 105 of trigger modules 22 through 25.

[0045] A motor module 40 includes a motor control circuit 80 having a connector 85. Connector 85 is compatible with output connector 21 of base unit 11 (seen in Figure 1). Motor control circuit 80 includes a speed selection switch 86 together with a filter coil 83. An on/off switch 82 is provided for activating or deactivating motor 81.

[0046] As mentioned above, the present invention multiple action module toy may be further enhanced by operative coupling to a conventional personal computer to facilitate downloading of additional sounds or sound combinations.

[0047] Figure 5 sets forth base unit 11 as described above in Figure 1 having a personal computer interface port 18. Base unit 11 is coupled to a connector 111 of a download cable 110. Cable 110 includes a connector 112 suitable for coupling to the audio port of a conventional personal computer processing unit 121. Personal computer 120 is constructed in accordance with conventional fabrication techniques and includes a processor unit 121, a display monitor 122 having a displayed image screen 123 and a keyboard 124. Personal computer 120 is operating in a conventional fashion and includes a CD or compact disc drive 125. A compact disc 126 is inserted into drive 125 to facilitate the operation of the present invention download system. In accordance with the stored program on compact disc 126, personal computer 120 operates to produce a display image 130 shown in Figure 6. Thus, image 130 appears on image screen 123 of monitor 122. Thereafter, the user is able to transfer a selected number of sounds stored within personal computer 120 for download via cable 110 and personal computer interface 18 to base unit 11.

[0048] Figure 6 sets forth image 130 which is utilized to provide a user friendly interface for the download operation. It will be apparent to those skilled in the art that different types of images may be utilized without departing from the spirit and scope of the present invention.

[0049] While particular embodiments of the invention have been shown and described, it will be obvious to those skilled in the art that changes and modifications may be made without departing from the invention in its broader aspects. Therefore, the aim in the appended claims is to cover all such changes and modifications as fall within the true spirit and scope of the invention.

Claims

THAT WHICH IS CLAIMED IS:
1. A multiple action module toy comprising:
a base unit having a plurality of selectable sound segments stored therein and means for selecting a particular one of said plurality of sounds;
an audio output device operatively coupled to said base unit for producing audible output of said sounds;
a plurality of input controls within said base unit;
a plurality of game play modes selectable by said input controls;
a personal computer interface port for coupling said base unit to a personal computer;
an input port and an output port on said base unit each having plural connecting line capabilities; and
a plurality of interactive modules including a light module, a sound module, a pushbutton module and a pull pin module each interchangeably coupled to said base unit.
2. The multiple action module toy set forth in claim 1 further including a motor module having a cooperating connector for coupling to said output port of said base unit.
3. The multiple action module toy set forth in claim 2 further including a motor-driven movable element which responds to control signals from said base unit.
PCT/US2003/034561 2002-11-07 2003-10-30 Multiple action module toy WO2004043560A2 (en)

Priority Applications (2)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
US42501702P true 2002-11-07 2002-11-07
US60/425,017 2002-11-07

Applications Claiming Priority (1)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
AU2003287323A AU2003287323A1 (en) 2002-11-07 2003-10-30 Multiple action module toy

Publications (2)

Publication Number Publication Date
WO2004043560A2 true WO2004043560A2 (en) 2004-05-27
WO2004043560A3 WO2004043560A3 (en) 2005-02-24

Family

ID=32312915

Family Applications (1)

Application Number Title Priority Date Filing Date
PCT/US2003/034561 WO2004043560A2 (en) 2002-11-07 2003-10-30 Multiple action module toy

Country Status (2)

Country Link
AU (1) AU2003287323A1 (en)
WO (1) WO2004043560A2 (en)

Citations (3)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US5873765A (en) * 1997-01-07 1999-02-23 Mattel, Inc. Toy having data downloading station
US6012961A (en) * 1997-05-14 2000-01-11 Design Lab, Llc Electronic toy including a reprogrammable data storage device
US6572431B1 (en) * 1996-04-05 2003-06-03 Shalong Maa Computer-controlled talking figure toy with animated features

Patent Citations (3)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US6572431B1 (en) * 1996-04-05 2003-06-03 Shalong Maa Computer-controlled talking figure toy with animated features
US5873765A (en) * 1997-01-07 1999-02-23 Mattel, Inc. Toy having data downloading station
US6012961A (en) * 1997-05-14 2000-01-11 Design Lab, Llc Electronic toy including a reprogrammable data storage device

Also Published As

Publication number Publication date
WO2004043560A3 (en) 2005-02-24
AU2003287323A1 (en) 2004-06-03
AU2003287323A8 (en) 2004-06-03

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